Speculation is rife over who will replace Dan Andrews as Victoria’s Premier, following the surprise resignation announcement from the Labor leader on Tuesday.
Mr Andrews, the 48th premier of Victoria, announced his decision to step down at a snap press conference today, describing the job as the “honour and privilege of my life.”
“Nine years ago, I visited Government House to be sworn in as the 48th Premier of Victoria,’’ he said.
“But when it’s time, it’s time.
“It’s time to go and to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility to someone else.”
Analysts have suggested the state’s deputy leader Jacinta Allen is the logical move, although a number of other Labor Party politicians have been floated.
Mr Andrews said the Victoria Labor caucus would elect its new leader about midday on Wednesday. His leadership will end at 5pm that same day.
“There will be a caucus meeting at 12 o’clock tomorrow,” he said.
Mr Andrews said he would not speculate on who the new premier might be or give any guidance to his colleagues.
“It is a matter for the colleagues and I am deeply respectful of that process,” he said.
When asked if he is confident his successor will continue his legacy and be able to maintain the support of the Victorian people at the next election, Mr Andrews claimed that would be a “matter for them”.
“They will have to work hard, to the extent the legacy is an issue for them because it is not one for me,” he said.
Even before Mr Andrews announced his resignation, Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan was widely tipped to be his successor.
Ms Allen was elected to Parliament in 1999 as Member for Bendigo East and is the longest-serving female minister in Victorian history.
Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell says Ms Allen is the likely choice for the party to take the reins from Mr Andrews, who led Labor to three successful state elections.
“She definitely is the favourite – the most interesting thing in these situations is, do they go in to vote?” he said.
There have been reports that Industry, Employment and Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll, could possibly be a contender for the top job in the wake of Mr Andrews’ resignation.
In the past, Mr Carroll has made a particular commitment to minimising deaths in custody and tackling climate change, stating that Victoria must “stand as a global leader in the creation of a zero-emissions, renewable workforce”.
“We are doing record investment to target our First Nations and I know one of the brighter things we’ve done has been the decrease of First Nations people in our youth justice system and we have more work to do particularly when it comes to female incarceration,” he said in January.
“We stand by our track record when it comes to criminal justice reform. support through our reforming our youth justice system, support for reforming our women’s and men’s justice system.”
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson has also had his name thrown into the mix for Victoria’s top job.
Before entering Parliament, Mr Pearson worked as a consultant, ministerial advisor and Opposition adviser.
Mr Pearson faced controversy earlier this year which saw him apologise for “an error of judgment” where he signed off on the Commonwealth Bank controlling state finances when he held shares in the bank.
Before entering Parliament, Mr Pallas worked as Assistant Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Chief of Staff to former Premier Steve Bracks, and had roles with the Federal Firefighters Union and the Storemen and Packers Union.
“Tim’s vision for Victoria’s future is that Victorians are empowered to get the jobs, education, housing and lifestyle they aspire towards,” Mr Pallas’ press page reads.
“He wants it to be a busy, liveable, global city. Victoria should be an Asian Pacific headquarters for tech, renewables and financial services, renowned worldwide for its arts, culture, green parks and great food.”
Lily D’Ambrosio has been a Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2002, representing the electorate of Mill Park.
Sky News analysts have placed her as an outside chance to take the top job, despite being embroiled in controversy in August.
Ms D’Ambrosio denied allegations of having fake members within her local Labor branch, Lalor South.
The Australian reported just 13 of the 132 branch members remain registered after an audit in 2020.
“There is no wrongdoing here and I‘ve always abided by the rules,” Ms D’Ambrosio told reporters at parliament.
Outgoing Premier Andrews stood by his minister and socialist left factional ally.
“I don‘t think I’ve ever met anybody more focused on their duties than her,” he told reporters.
“She‘s a person of character and integrity.”